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Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

Publisher: Warner Bros
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
UK Price: £33
US Price: $50


Superman is a boring character to root for in his own stories because he’s the epitome of limitless ability. You can’t feel scared he might not succeed or believe he’s an underdog against anyone as he’s near-enough perfect. You’ll pick up a book with him in it and everything will go great and maybe there’ll be some kryptonite thrown around as a minor obstacle but it’s more than obvious things will come up aces; that doesn’t make for a compelling romp and it sure means that most of his narratives are just ways of reframing older versions of tales that have already occurred.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review
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The best Superman stories are about the ramifications of him existing rather than his personal actions. Injustice: Gods Among Us, DC’s newest entry into fighting games developed by Mortal Kombat designers NetherRealm, takes cues from a variety of stories that paint Superman as the villain. Here Superman is distraught over The Joker tricking him into destroying his home city of Metropolis, housing his wife and unborn child at the time. He mercilessly kills the Clown Prince in revenge and begins setting up a despotic rule in order to keep everyone safe from any further harm. Many other superheroes join in with this attempt at total domination through either believing that Superman is correct or under threat of death. Those that refuse and are still alive band together to create a resistance faction that solicits the aid of alternate universe heroes from a world where The Joker’s plot wasn’t successful.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review
Click to enlarge

NetherRealm excel at story modes above those of other fighting game developers. Their work does more than make vague justifications as to why two characters are fighting as has become the standard. Injustice is carrying over what they’ve learned from the previous Mortal Kombat, about cutscenes transitioning into action and picking right back up when the fight resolves. This achieves a great many things like answering why characters can possibly be fighting alternately costumed versions of themselves and even clearing away how those with limited powers could stand up against those with far greater abilities and win.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review
Click to enlarge

The story is a little hokey in areas, but no more so than the properties it’s based on. We’re lead to believe that Alternate Superman is an awful tyrant ostensibly enslaving the world’s population without really any depictions of this actually happening, but small holes like that are forgiveable in a narrative that manages to believably give villain mainstays motivation to work with heroes on the side of good, rotates the playable cast enough - and at the right times to prevent boredom - and makes Aquaman actually seem like a badass. They’ve done the impossible.